Rapid City business owners upset over parking lot sale
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Parking in downtown Rapid City has been a hot topic over the last few months with a parking lot connected to Property Meld and South Dakota Stock Growers set to be sold.
The potential sale of this parking lot to 11 Main Street LLC has left businesses adjacent to ask questions about what that will mean for their customers. Doris Lauing, the executive director of Dakota Stock Growers Association, feels this decision was made without consideration for older businesses in the area.
“It just doesn’t make common sense and for customers and even employees. It just doesn’t make sense this has been a parking lot since 1955 why are we changing things now just to add a building,” said Lauing.
The concern for customers is shared by business owners as well. The owner of Fifth & Main, Diane Alberts, says it’s hard for her to see this as a positive change.
“There are only negative consequences because customers go to businesses where it’s easy to shop and having parking for our customers and our employees is just key for us,” said Alberts.
Both Lauing and Alberts wanted to emphasize that they don’t take issue with the sale happening but rather the process by which the change was presented to them.
So, I would say that this project has probably been two years in the making, if not longer, and they should have come to us at that time and said “Well we have an offer on the parking lot, what do you think?’” asked Lauing.
Last month when we spoke with the CEO of Property Meld he said parking will not be an issue.
“There’s honestly plenty of parking we just need to make sure employees know what their options are and how we can help facilitate it so we went through that exercise,” said Ray Hespen.
A legal and Finance meeting held on Wednesday will present a price for the sale of the lot. Alberts says she plans to voice opposition to this sale at a future council meeting.
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